Three Baby Kacheeks Stocking Adventure
Once there were three baby Kacheeks who lived by themselves in a lovely home near the woods. Not the three little snorkles, that's a different story; this one is about the three baby Kacheeks.
These three baby Kacheeks were quite happy and comfortable in their warm snug little home, but still there was one thing they lacked. Christmas was coming and they had no stockings to hang.
They had heard that Santa Claus only stopped at places where there were stockings hanging. Since the sweetest candies and chocolate were made only during the Christmas season and given only by Santa Claus, and as baby Kacheeks love candies and chocolate more than anything in Neopia, it is not strange that these baby Kacheeks were determined to each get a stocking to hang in their home.
Every day they had hoped to find some, but at last the day before Christmas had come and they had found none. So that day they started out together, determined to hunt until they found some, though they may be far, far away.
After leaving their home near the woods the first individual they met was Christa Kau. She was enjoying her breakfast, a wheatgrass fruit smoothie and a pile of autumn leaves in a sunny open pasture near some trees.
"Good morning, Christa Kau!" said the eldest baby Kacheek.
Christa Kau looked round at them, still chewing. "Dearie me," said she, "If it isn't the three baby Kacheeks that live by themselves in their home near the woods! How are you and what are you doing so far from home?"
"We're out after stockings," said the eldest baby Kacheek.
"Oh, I wouldn't eat stockings if I were you," said Christa Kau. "I tried it myself once when I was young. I ate one off a vine that it was growing on. Stockings always grow on vines, you know. It made me ill."
"We don't want to eat them!" cried the baby Kacheeks together and the eldest explained that they wanted them to hang up for Santa Claus.
"Well I don't know where you can find them and I should advise you to tell Santa Claus not to eat them, either," and Christa Kau went on with her breakfast and the three baby Kacheeks hurried on.
They looked for vines on which stockings grew but did not find any. They did see and test a group of chocolate ice cream trees, but they simply weren't sweet enough. On and on they went until at last they saw Ethan Gnorbu standing on a rock.
"Please, Sir," said the eldest baby Kacheek, "can you tell me where the stocking vines grow?"
"Stocking vines, indeed!" said Ethan Gnorbu, staring down at them "Who chased my petpet a week ago Monday?"
"I did," said the youngest baby Kacheek, bravely. "But I won't do it again."
"You be sure you don't," said Ethan Gnorbu. "And who put thornatas under the bush where my petpet takes his nap?"
"I did," said the eldest baby Kacheek, "He's always making faces at me."
"And who ate the apples under my magic apple tree?" said Ethan Gnorbu, while the second baby Kacheek put his paws over his eyes. He was very fond of those little shiny tasty apples.
"Stocking vines indeed!" said Ethan Gnorbu, but the three Kacheeks were gone. They had crept around the corner of the rock and were hurrying away as fast as their legs would carry them.
They went along until they came to the pond where Luchia Quiggle lived.
"Perhaps the stocking vines grow under the water," said one.
"We'd best ask," said another.
So they all shouted, "Luchia Quiggle! Luchia Quiggle!"
Two bubbles came up to the top of the water and then Luchia Quiggle's bottle eyes were seen among various kelp plants near the shore.
"We called to find out where we could get stockings to hang up for Santa Claus," said the second baby Kacheek.
Luchia Quiggle climbed out on a stone and sat down before she spoke. "Well, my young friends," she said, "you did wisely to come to me. Stockings do not grow on vines; they grow on humans. When humans come to the pond they peel off their stockings and leave them on the shore while they wade about. But it would not be safe to take them, for a human is a dangerous brute. They throw stones all the time."
"But if humans are so dangerous, and stockings grow on them, how shall we get them to hang up for Santa Claus?" said the youngest baby Kacheek.
"That I do not know," said the quiggle. "My advice is to let Santa find his own stockings, if he wants to, and for you to keep away from anything that looks like a human."
The three baby Kacheeks thanked Luchia Quiggle politely for her information and advice and walked on with not very much hope left.
Benjamin Usul spied them from a leaning tree and cried after them, "Hello you three, where are you going?"
"Oh, it's Benjamin Usul," said the second baby Kacheek. "We're looking for stockings and we can't find any."
"And tomorrow's Christmas," wailed the youngest baby Kacheek.
The eldest baby Kacheek explained. "Christa Kau said stockings grow on a vine, and Luchia Quiggle says they grow on humans. Which is wrong, do you know?"
"Neither," said Benjamin Usul. "There are two kinds. I've seen them both."
"Where?" said the baby Kacheeks.
"Well," said Benjamin Usul, "I found the first kind a long way out of the woods. It was a Tuesday. The vines bloom on a Tuesday mostly. There were some on the ground, and I thought I might as well bring them home to hold my winter nuts."
"Oh, Benjamin Usul, lend them to us," begged the baby Kacheeks. "Just for one night! We'll bring them back safely!"
"What collateral do you have for the loan?" asked Benjamin Usul.
"Anything you want," said the eldest baby Kacheek.
"That's fair," said Benjamin Usul. "But I can't let you have them. I thought I'd bring them home but a human came along and I thought again, and I thought I would not!" and a moment later Benjamin Usul was laughing from the top of another tree.
The three baby Kacheeks were too angry to say anything and hurried away. Christmas was due tomorrow and Tuesday, when the stocking vines bloomed, was two days away. The youngest baby Kacheek wanted to give up and go home, the second baby Kacheek said that he didn't believe Santa Claus put anything in a Kacheek's stocking, anyway. But the eldest baby Kacheek wanted to go on a bit further, to see what was beyond the turn in the path. They went on without much hope of finding anything, and reached the turn in the path.
Before them was a tall scary tower with a rock garden across the front, and in the garden sat a witch with bright green skin knitting and rocking in a big chair. She looked up and said in a crackled voice, "How many pairs do you want?"
The three baby Kacheeks could hardly believe their ears. "BOOYAH! Just one stocking a piece, please," shouted the eldest baby Kacheek.
"Well," said the green witch, "I think you can have them. So many come here for stockings that I can hardly keep them supplied, but with these new stocking knitting kits I bought, I should get them done by sundown. You can have them if you fetch me the missing ingredient for my latest potion. I'll need one jar of honey per stocking. You will find the jars on the kitchen shelf, and they must be here before the sun is down or you can't have the stockings until tomorrow, and tomorrow will be too late."
There was no time to lose. The baby Kacheeks hastened to the kitchen and each grabbed a jar from the shelf. When they came out, the green witch was sitting, rocking and knitting hard, and the baby Kacheeks started off on a run.
Now the three baby Kacheeks were still very young or else they would have known where to look for honey. The youngest thought maybe it grew under the ground but the others wouldn't listen to him. The eldest thought it grew on a tree, and the second said that a bumbluz once told him it grew in flowers.
As there was not a flower near by but there were several bumbluz around, he pulled a bumbluz by the leg out of the knot of a dead tree but dropped it again very quickly because the bumbluz was so hot.
The eldest baby Kacheek was climbing a tree and in a moment called down from the top of the tree trunk. "Here it is! It's in a tree! Come up, one of you, and help."
The second baby Kacheek scrambled up to help and sure enough there was honey in the hollow of the tree, but out of reach.
The eldest baby Kacheek started down into the hollow of the tree head first and the second baby Kacheek held him by one foot but even then he could not reach far enough. At last the youngest was let down with the second holding his foot and the eldest holding the second's foot, and in this way they reached the honey. It was hard work fighting off the bumbluzes and getting the honey out but they did it and with their jugs full they started for the tall scary tower.
It was now very late in the afternoon. The sun was sinking fast and the three baby Kacheeks began to fear that they would be too late. Two or three times they thought the sun was gone when it was only behind the trees, and once they lost their way. At last they came to the turn of the path and saw that there was only one little gleam of light left.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute!" they shouted, raced around the turn, and set their jars, then themselves, down in the garden just as the last ray of sun left the treetops.
The head of the witch was thrust through the crack of the door as they came up, but as the light went, the door shut and locked on the inside and the youngest baby Kacheek sat down and cried. The other two would have cried too if they had not seen the window by the door open a little bit and a thin green hand held out three stockings. As the eldest baby Kacheek ran to get them a voice from the inside said, "You weren't any too soon, but you weren't really too late, so here they are. I will take the honey in the morning. You will find some holiday milk and cookies at the end of the garden." Then the window was closed and fastened.
The three baby Kacheeks waved their stockings around their heads and danced for joy. Then they looked for the holiday milk and cookies, and three more thankful baby Kacheeks could not have been found anywhere.
As they started on their journey back a Pteri went out of its way to show them a short cut home, and before it was very late they were all three asleep in their own little house, and their Christmas stockings were hanging all in a row.
Now this story was only to be about how the baby Kacheeks' stockings were found, but perhaps you will want to know if Santa brought them anything. So, I will add that when they woke up in the morning, the stockings were so full that they were stretched as wide as they could be, and in them was almost everything sweet that a baby Kacheek could want. The three happy baby Kacheeks gave sweets to all their friends, but they said that naughty Benjamin Usul should not have a thing.
Then the youngest baby Kacheek felt sorry for Benjamin Usul and carried him five nutty chocolate neggs when the others were not looking and each of the other two did the same thing later on.
Benjamin Usul had a good deal after all, though he hadn't deserved it.